April 24, 2008

A Taste of TED on DVD

Recently my mate Kieran has been helping me get my head round marketing as I try to get word out about tedium. I was trying to work out something I could do to say thanks, and as he's been reading The Paradox of Choice it occurred to me that I could share some of the TED talks with him (including the one by Barry Schwartz, the author of The Paradox of Choice).

Kieran isn't a geek by any stretch of the imagination, so I burned the talks onto a DVD so that he could watch them from the comfort of his sofa rather than having to sit in front of his computer. I think that's about the only problem with the presentations from TED.com - it's hard to watch something for twenty minutes if you've got all the distractions of the Internet.

The talks themselves are superb - interesting and insightful topics being talked about by passionate, clever, famous people. If you haven't seen any of the talks before then I heartily recommend having a poke round the TED website or downloading this TED Taster DVD.

That's right, now that I've put the DVD together, I might as well share it with the rest of the world. All the TED presentations are covered by a Creative Commons licence, which means that it's completely legal to copy them and give them to your friends and colleagues... even to random strangers on the Internet ;-)

There are six talks on the DVD. I picked ones that I enjoyed watching and that seem to be well thought of on the web:

  1. Dan Gilbert asks "Why are we happy?"
  2. Malcolm Gladwell on spaghetti sauce
  3. Sir Ken Robinson say schools kill creativity
  4. Hans Rosling shows the best stats you've ever seen
  5. Barry Schwartz on the paradox of choice
  6. Gever Tulley on five dangerous things for kids

Screenshots from the talks

Obviously I can't share physical DVDs over the Internet, so you'll need a DVD burner if you want to make your own TED Taster DVD. And because the files are pretty big I can't just set things up so you click on a link and download it - you'll need to use BitTorrent, but (as well as saving some of my bandwidth costs) that will mean that it will download more quickly.

Despite the scare stories you might've heard, BitTorrent isn't hard to use. Lifehacker have a good beginner's guide to BitTorrent and Gordon McLean wrote an excellent starter guide for anyone using Windows.

Enough! Give Me The Files!

Okay, here are the torrent files you'll need to download the DVD. Choose the right one depending on where you live (well, really depending on whether your DVD player is NTSC or PAL). Each download is about 3.4 GB in size, so please be patient - it'll take a while to download, particularly at first when there aren't many copies around. And after it's finished downloading, please leave your BitTorrent client running for as long as you can to help share it with others.

And if you just want to watch them on your computer, I've collected all the original files from TED.com and gathered them into the TED Taster mp4 torrent (704 MB).

Spread the Word

I know they aren't as easy to watch as your standard YouTube clip, but I think that the more people who get to see the TED talks the better. So, feel free to burn some extra DVDs and give them to your friends, or blog about the TED talks that you love the most, or point people here so they can download the DVD for themselves. Feel free to use the image above, and either link to this blog post or use http://www.mcqn.net/tedtaster (that's just a snappier URL that also points here).

Finally, thanks to Gordon McLean, Andrew Dixon, Adrian Sevitz and a collection of MeFites for their help in launching this crazy idea.


Posted by Adrian at April 24, 2008 08:56 PM | TrackBack

This blog post is on the personal blog of Adrian McEwen. If you want to explore the site a bit further, it might be worth having a look at the most recent entries or look through the archives or categories over on the left.

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Need... More... Seeds...

Posted by: Matt at April 24, 2008 11:08 PM

Tell me about it! I am keeping an eye on the machines I've got seeding, and have stopped all the other torrents that I'd otherwise be helping to seed.

Unfortunately my home machine seems to drop off every now and then - probably due to the multiple levels of NAT that my Italian ISP has me sat behind, but I restart it as soon as I notice.

Please be patient, your downloading is important to us... ;-)

Posted by: Adrian at April 24, 2008 11:39 PM

Hi Adrian,

Brilliant work putting the 2008 TED talks on DVD. Do you have plans to do the same for the 2009 talks?


Posted by: Justin at February 20, 2009 08:36 PM

Thank you so much! I am downloading right now. I will for sure seed to others. I am giving this to my 72 year old father [ his birthday is today!] - it will be his late gift :)
Warm regards,

Posted by: Lenke at March 23, 2009 05:59 PM

Thanks for the torrent!

Posted by: Dan at June 20, 2009 10:17 PM

Thanks for compiling and putting out the dvd!

Posted by: Dan at June 20, 2009 10:18 PM

Thank you for doing this! I wish I could download all of these, as they are educational, and motivational!!!

TED is one of the most worth while endeavors out there.

I feel enriched because of it.


Posted by: Mark K at January 27, 2010 06:19 PM

I download with ted.com by means of service takeyoutube.com

Posted by: shell at October 3, 2010 02:01 AM
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